How do I describe a place like La Favela?
I would probably describe it as “indescribable.” I know, that’s just lazy (and unimaginative) but really, it’s hard to describe a bar and restaurant that looks like a tropical garden, an antique junkyard, a vintage museum, a Brazilian casa, and a ritzy taproom with all sorts of crazy/cool objects like a Volkswagen bus as a bar table and a Shell gas pump as part of the décor! Go ahead and try to describe that!
From the outside, it’s easy to miss La Favela. And if you do take notice of it and pass through its small and narrow entrance, you would probably think that it’s just an ordinary restaurant. No biggie.
And then you finally go inside and YOUR JAW JUST DROPS BECAUSE OHMYGOD, WHAT IS THIS PLACE?!
And this is just the main restaurant area. (This is where I go “But wait… there’s more!” But more on that later!)
Mike and I were fairly hungry but as we stepped inside, suddenly, all thoughts of food disappeared because we were so stunned with the place! Every corner was fascinating, that we didn’t know where to look first, and I didn’t know what to take a photo of first! (Eventually, I took a video because according to Mike, “You should take a video because this is the kind of place you have to take a video of!”)
La Favela, owned and conceptualized by the same restaurateurs behind La Laguna and La Plancha (two other funky dining spots in Bali), is a restaurant that also transforms into a bar / club at night. I have seen photos of the place during the day prior to our trip, and you can really see all the details in natural light. At night, the dim lighting makes photos and videos look yellowish and reddish, but there is something so magical and dramatic about the ambiance in La Favela at night. Let’s put it this way: if you’re planning on hanging out here with your pals to take Instagram-worthy shots, go during the day. If a romantic date is what you’re after, you can’t go wrong with the mysterious and intimate atmosphere of La Favela in the evening. (Also, if it’s your first date and are still in those early awkward stages, this is the best place to go to because you won’t run out of things to talk about. There’s literally a conversation piece in every nook and cranny of the restaurant!)
La Favela is every vintage collector’s dream hangout. The massive amount of antique curios such as a sewing machine, turntable, analog TV, and other bibelots gathered from different parts of the world make La Favela extraordinarily unique!
It’s easy to get fixated on the classic pieces of furniture, the random objects on the walls, and whatnots displayed all over the room, but don’t forget to look up too! In La Favela, no corner is left unornamented!
For Frida fanatics, there is a “Frida corner” where different photos of Ms. Kahlo are on display.
There are also some religious images and figurines all around the restaurant, which makes me wonder if the owners are religious.
Wait, where is our food?! Well, anyway, the genius design of the place kept us busy while the waiters were getting our food ready. While we’re on the subject of genius, what do you think of this bar?!
It’s a bar made out of a sawed Volkswagen, designed with graffiti. Sick! And that is a good example of one man’s junk being another man’s treasure!
Design buffs, as well as street art fans will get a kick out of the gnarly stencil art in La Favela. It’s amazing how one part of the restaurant can look so polished and posh, while another, like this corner with the spray painted walls, can look so ghetto yet also so interesting!
I did say earlier: “but wait… there’s more!” We delved further into the restaurant and saw that inside, there is an al fresco courtyard which looks like a luxurious forest with water fountains, statues, bridges, ponds, and an abundance of plants. Simply stunning!
It can’t get any more romantic than this! However, since Mike was afraid that mosquitoes might attack him again (between the two of us, he has been the Balinese mosquitoes’ favorite snack), we opted to dine in the main restaurant area instead. But can you imagine how lovely it is to dine in this mesmerizing garden while gazing at the ponds with clear blue waters?
All this beauty made it easy for me to forget what I really came here for: the food! I don’t know how long we waited for the food because we were so busy marveling at the interiors.
I’m sure the question you’re going to ask is this: is the food as phenomenal as the decors? Well, we really liked our food!
Granny’s Oven (IDR 115K / USD 8.8 / PHP 426) – Slow-roasted succulent half chicken served with healthy ratatouille
Mike ordered the Granny’s Oven, which was pretty good! The chicken was meaty and tasty. He doesn’t eat cucumber though and ratatouille is made of cucumber, so the staff gladly replaced the ratatouille with potato wedges.
Menage A3 (IDR 150K / USD 12 / PHP 556) – Jumbo prawn kebabs, accompanied by confit potatoes topped with bacon and sour cream.
This dish was absolute heaven for me! I love prawns and these ones were tender and delicious. The sauce, potatoes, bacon, and sour cream made me want to lick my plate clean! The only problem I had with this dish was… why just three sticks of prawn? More please!
Our dishes came with a side dish of our choice: quinoa salad, baby country potatoes, mashed potato, and homecut wedges. I chose the quinoa salad, a healthy option to make up for all the food I pigged out on in Bali!
We also helped ourselves to a bottle of Bintang at IDR 36K each. It’s about IDR 10–15K more expensive than the Bintangs in roadside warungs, but come on, what do you expect from a place like La Favela?
Our total bill, including 7% service charge and 10% tax amounted to IDR 394,295 (around USD 30 or PHP 1,462). Not the cheapest meal we had in Bali, admittedly, but for the ambiance, the quality of the food, and the overall experience, we didn’t mind the price. It was our honeymoon anyway, and how often do we get to come here and eat in this ultra-cool restaurant? Our eyes AND tummies were satisfied, so we were happy!
La Favela serves lunch and dinner, and the dinner menu is slightly pricier than the lunch menu. Here is their menu.
Again… “But wait… there’s MORE!” Here at La Favela, it looks like more is more! After having dinner, we continued wandering through the restaurant and found that beyond the main area and even beyond the gardens, there were also a number of private dining areas. The cozy decors, complete with religious pictures and statuettes, picture frames, cozy furniture, and appliances from yesteryear (a BABY PINK wired landline with a rotary dial, a retro TV, an old sewing machine) made us feel like we were invited for a nice home-cooked meal in an intimate Brazilian home!
But the best “decor” in this place, hands down, is… this sweet dog!
How cool is this place?! It made us feel like we were not just in a restaurant, but were in some kind of mysterious manor with so many things to unearth. Let’s explore some more, shall we?
At the very end of the restaurant was this very splashy corner which looked like an exclusive tap room where famous movie stars would have a drink.
The word ‘Favela’ means “a Brazilian shack or shanty town” or “a slum.” No way is this restaurant a slum! To us, it was a lavish vintage treasure house. We saw that every person who walked inside the restaurant (including us) took one look at the place and said “oh my god!” or “wow!” Clearly, this place is out-of-sight and it’s definitely one spot in Bali that you need to see to believe, appreciate, and experience. If you ever plan on visiting this place, prepare to stay for at least an hour to an hour and 30 minutes because this place is huge and there are too many details to get an eyeful of.
Address: Jalan Laksamana Oberoi 177x Seminyak, Badung, Bali, Indonesia
Phone: +62 361 730010
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Opening Hours: Mondays to Sundays, 12:00 NN to 3:00 AM (until 4:00 AM on Fridays and Saturdays)
For all stories related to our Bali honeymoon trip, visit the link below: